Randy Smith on the 2012 Tucson Padres

We caught up with Randy Smith, the Padres' Director of Player Development and International Scouting from his headquarters in Peoria, Arizona for the final segment of our six part interview on the top prospects in the system.

This week we take a look at the Tucson Padres, the top team in the Padres' system who like the San Antonio Missions in AA also didn't have one of their better seasons. But despite not winning that many games Tucson also had one of the Padres' better position prospects in a long time in Jedd Gyorko, which is whom we started off our interview with Randy Smith.

I can imagine you get quite a few questions on Jedd Gyorko and we have some for you too. Before we get to talking about his offense I want to talk a little about his play at second and third.

How much has Jedd improved as a second baseman from 2011 to 2012?

Randy Smith: Jedd is a very good defensive third baseman and moving him to second base wasn't that big a stretch with him having been a shortstop in college. At second he's not going to have the same range as others that we have in the organization but he also has a tremendous baseball IQ which allows him to play there.

His hands and feet are very good but right now they are just more used to working in smaller places.

What has been the biggest reason for the surge in Jedd's power numbers?

Randy Smith: You've heard me say many times that power is the last thing to come. I don't think Kirby Puckett ever hit more than nine home runs in a season and he ended up hitting some home runs in the big leagues.

Personally I never pay attention to power numbers until players start getting to the higher levels. Its nice if they are hitting them down there but if they are not there is still a lot of baseball left to play.

Right now with Jedd he is starting to recognize pitches that he can handle for power.

With Chase Headley at third, Logan Forsythe at second and Carlos Quentin in left field where does Jedd Gyorko fit in next season?

Randy Smith: You can never have enough quality players and our job is to get them to Josh and let him worry about that. In Jedd's case he's going to hit and we want to keep on giving Josh these types of "problems'. [laughs]

Andy Parrino struggled in the big leagues but then went down to Tucson and really had a nice year. What adjustments did he make and what do you consider his best position defensively?

Randy Smith: Andy is really a self-made guy that busted his tail to get every ounce of his ability. I really can't think of anyone that is a harder worker that we have in our organization.

Defensively he can play all over the place and play all the positions well. His versatility is a big strength with him and he's really worked very hard in the weight room to improve his power. For a guy of his size he is very strong.

At the plate he got into some bad habits up here and just went down and corrected them which is what you are supposed to do when you go down.

Blake Tekotte struggled this year and there was an article in the Arizona Daily Star about how the Padres tried to change his swing but now want him to go back to where he was before.

Can you talk about what the changes were and why you think they didn't take?

Randy Smith: Blake understands what type of hitter he is; a gap hitter that can use his speed to make a lot of things happen. He was coming off of a season where he hit 19 home runs in San Antonio and he might have gotten away from using all of the field.

The difficult thing for him and lot of people to understand is just because something works down here doesn't mean its going to work in the major leagues. He is a good player and I'm sure he will get back to using his speed and athletic ability more in his game.

Jorge Reyes led the team in innings pitched. How would you describe his year and what parts of his game would you like to see him improve upon?

Randy Smith: Jorge had two good years in a row coming off of an injury. He has a good sinker, slider and change. His best role might be as a reliever we put him back there in August to slow down his innings some. His stuff plays real well coming out of there so we will see how that goes.

Josh Spence started a few games for the T-Padres this year. Do you plan to make him a starter or do you see his future more in long relief?

Randy Smith: When Josh uses all of his pitches he is more effective, particularly when he is throwing from different angles. Right now I think he's more effective as a guy who is working innings than only being a lefty on lefty guy.

I've always been a big fan of Beamer Weem's glove. How can he improve his offensive game more?

Randy Smith: Beamer is a gifted shortstop first and foremost. This is really only his second season getting away from being a switch-hitter. As we've talked about in the past he has had some sustained success at the plate he just needs to get a little more consistent and find ways to make more productive outs.


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